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Do Development Interventions Confer Adaptive Capacity? Insights from Rural India

Unmesh Patnaik and Prasun Kumar Das

World Development, 2017, vol. 97, issue C, 298-312

Abstract: Risks due to the occurrence of climatic aberrations pose an impediment to the economic growth of the households in vulnerable regions. The frequency of these events is projected to increase in the foreseeable future, with developing countries being the worst sufferers. Dealing with this appears to be an additional burden on the resources of such countries, a large part of which is already devoted to providing better living standards for its inhabitants. Does this imply that developmental interventions should be discontinued? Is there a link between these programs and adaptation to environmental shocks? In an effort to answer such questions, the paper examines the impact of the developmental schemes on the livelihood of the households in Western Odisha, India and investigates whether they augment post disaster coping and adaptation as well. The results indicate that overall the programs have made an impact concerning their intended goals but the diffusion of benefits across beneficiary groups is heterogeneous. Additionally, the programs have contributed in post disaster coping, but only in the regions where either they performed well or their penetration was extensive. Activities promoting livelihood diversification, food security, and poverty reduction also tacitly facilitate improvements in the resilience of the individuals and communities thereby enhancing their capacity to deal with climatic risks. Policy implication advocates the continuation of developmental interventions. However, realigning their framework to incorporate actions intended toward disaster risk reduction and management would result in more inclusive impacts.

Keywords: climatic aberration; impact evaluation; adaptation; disaster coping; India (search for similar items in EconPapers)
Date: 2017
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